Category Archives: learning

Life Long Learning gives you these three boons

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life long learning from thinking skillsIn 2015, committed to life long learning,  Doreetha Daniels earned a degree in social sciences from College of the Canyons, in Santa Clarita, California.

Doreetha was 99!

She said she wanted to get her degree simply to better herself. It took her six years –  a testament to her will, determination, and commitment to learning, according to John Coleman writing in his new book, Passion and Purpose: Stories from the Best and Brightest Young Business Leaders.

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YOU WILL EARN MORE MONEY

Recently, Tamborini, Kim, and Sakamoto found that, controlling for other factors, men and women can expect to earn $655,000 and $445,000 more, respectively, during their careers with a bachelor’s degree than with a high school degree. and Graduate degrees yield more.

YOU WILL LIVE LONGER

Reading can dramatically reduce your stress levels.  Coleman cites a  recent report in Neurology that learning activities can help delay Alzheimer symptoms, preserving people’s quality of life. Other research indicates that learning to play a new instrument can offset cognitive decline, and learning difficult new skills in older age is associated with improved memory.

I have been taking Hindi lessons. And am delighted to report it seems to open all sorts of brain pathways-so I can remember names better and just feel generally sharper. Guitar lessons are next!

And it is not surprising there is compelling research to support the idea that the better educated make better lifestyle choices and live longer.  David Cutler and Adriana Lleras-Muney’s research suggests that a year of formal education could add more than half a year to your life span.

Perhaps Doreetha Daniels, at 99, knew something we may have missed.

YOU WILL BE BETTER LIKED

I admire those who are dedicated to learning and growth. I am certain you do too.

Have you ever sat in a quiet place and finished a great novel in one sitting? (By the way, I can teach you how)

Coleman asks if you remember the fulfillment you felt when you last settled into a difficult task — whether a math problem or a foreign language course — and found yourself making breakthrough progress? (I can help you here too!)

Have you ever worked with a team of friends or colleagues to master difficult material or create something new?

These experiences can be electrifying, and that is the kind of feedback from graduates of my Thinking Skills over the years.

There are many reasons to continue learning. I hope this article has given you some added inspiration.

As Coleman writes: “We live in an age of abundant opportunity for learning and development. Capturing that opportunity — maintaining our curiosity and intellectual humility — can be one of life’s most rewarding pursuits.

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Mind Mapping for Problem Solving and More

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Mind Mapping is for Problem Solving and lots more

Mind mapping from Tony Buzan is one of the coolest techniques you will ever learn for problem solving, note taking, learning and organizing your thoughts.

Search the internet and you will find millions of pages about it. Mind mapping is useful for almost any information-related task you care to name. Want to solve a problem? Record a lecture? Try a mind map. Want to prepare a presentation on the run in minimum time – use mind mapping and commit the result to Power Point. Need to plan a meeting? Track a meeting? Summarise a textbook or report?

Here is how to do it: its as easy as one-two-three …

You’ll need a writing space (pad, sheet, whiteboard, whatever), and a handful of colored markers. It works just as well using a free mindmapping tool like Freemind. I generally prefer paper and pens.

1. Topic goes in the centre – best is to embroider it with an image or even just a few colours to help turn on the right brain.

2. Then radiate your ideas from the centre – printing on lines. This is important. Why? – because it works.

3. Once you are done, you can add links, images, highlights – whatever is necessary to make the information come alive for you. If you are using mind mapping for study notes you will want to add images and colours to help make the written information more memorable.

You are using hierarchical thinking – much better for many tasks than traditional linear top-left-to-bottom-right notes.

It turns out that this is the way the brain works. The brain seems not to be optimized for traditional linear notes.

And the proof is in the pudding. Try it – you’ll see. I have been teaching mindmapping and problem solving for over twenty years, and my students never fail to be amazed at their results with this great tool.

Richard Broome has been teaching Thinking Skills workshops for many years in South Africa and Australia. There are sessions upcoming in Perth and Joburg.

For more info fill out the contact form top right.

Study Tips for Businesspeople

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Looking to sharpen your thinking skills? Working on a part-time MBA? Mind maps help big time!

Here are some quick tips for successful study
  • Start with the end in mind. Get your syllabus. Study it. Get out your study notes and checkout the headings and sub-headings. You don’t have time to read everything in total detail, so make sure you get an early picture of the whole syllabus and use that overview to pick out the key areas that always come up.
  • Spot. Spot. Spot. Get old papers. Figure out what always comes up. Go for that first. Early in the year.
  • Take a sheet of paper for each subject. List the main topics and sub-topics down the page.
  • Better still – make a mind map for each subject. Personalise each area by using your own codes such as “easy”, “interesting”, hard”, “need help with this” and “eeeek!” etc
  • Plan. Plan. Plan. Build in revision time EVERY DAY for stuff covered that day. Then review it again tomorrow, and again next week, and a month later. Then finally just before the test or exam.
  • Mind maps are fantastic for making summaries that are memorable and help you to get your head around stuff. They even make cool wall hangings – so you surround yourself with the stuff you’re working with. That way you never forget.
  • Be proactive. You MUST look over the textbook version of your next lecture or lesson BEFORE the lecture. This means you’ll have to pester the lecturer for what they plan to cover next. Don’t worry – he/she won’t see you as a nuisance – they welcome students who come forward like this.
  • Read cool books like Tony Buzan’s Mind Map book. Finkel’s Brain Booster.
  • Get free mindmap preview software by searching google for freemind or Buzan’s iMap.
  • Improve your mind with Transcendental Meditation – it’s proven to help you concentrate.
  • Prefer baroque music over heavy metal or industrial goth for your study times.
  • Get enough exercise.Take frequent breaks
  • Eat only fantastic food – organic is best.


For the younger student:

Call about our occasional 4 hour PowerLearning ® courses in Houghton fro teens. 1pm – 5 pm,Call 011 483 0685 for details. Checkout this brochure for more info

Learning with Google search

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So I’m sitting in an easy chair one Sunday afternoon reading “What would Google Do” by Jeff Jarvis. I heard about it from Pete Carruthers who is my Internet marketing guru. So when Pete plugged Jeff’s book, I ordered it from Amazon—Kindle books actually—and one minute later it sat on the screen of my MacBook.

No learning tool has greater potential to change the world than Google search.

I’d love to know how often you use Google or any other search engine to look up information.

Google is the nuclear fuel of the internet explosion. An answer to almost any question is reachable within about 60 seconds via Google search.

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What a story. So readable. Who could have imagined that a free advertising service (Google Adwords) would profoundly alter the newspaper industry, that learners with keyboards would bring down politicians, and “dropouts could build companies worth billions.”

Google is the fastest growing company in the history of the world, so its fascinating to read how Google does things.

Jarvis cites an unbelievable case history of Dell computers–how a website and a blog became a movement which almost brought the company down. Dell responded to the challenge by sorting out its customer relations big-time and climbed right back out of the pit.

I reckon there is not a company, NGO or organisation on earth that does not need to look at the implications of the Internet explosion in this information age.
Jeff says “start by having your executives make the same Internet searches you did.” He advises assigning your best people, the nicest, most knowledgeable and open to solve every problem they can find: repair, replace, or refund whatever the customer wants. Start a blog where you can share the problems. He goes on to say that your worst customer is your best friend. Having sorted his problems, he becomes your partner.

Really amazing stuff. As Jeff puts it: “when you hand over control, you start winning.”

“The single greatest transformative power of the Internet and Google has little to do with technology or media or even business. It’s about people and making new connections among them. It all comes back to relationships.

And that’s why I’m writing to you.

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And updating this post in 2019 – a useful resource for you is: Google Power Search by Stephan Spencer.

PS This morning I received the following email:

Dr Broome
I attended your course in 2008 and of all the courses that I have attended in my life nothing comes close to the impact that your course had in my life. This includes all the certificates and diplomas I have done. The biggest impact was speed reading, memorising and recalling and mind maps.

I am in the process of writing a career guidance book and in it I have included a chapter on studying techniques which inevitably mention some of the methods that I have learned from your course. I write this e-mail to request that you kindly grant us permission to go ahead with this in our book. I have referenced your website well which hopefully will attract people to your course and also raise your profile in the public as I hope the book is going to be distributed throughout the schools in KZN. The book is in isiZulu because there is huge gap for books in this market.

Thanks for this Dr Broome, your course should be compulsory at school level and you can quote me on that!

Warmest Regards

X.S.